by Debby Critchley
We bid a fond farewell to the little Giant on Monroe St. on Thursday Sept. 3 at 5:00 pm and a big hello to the giant Giant on Rt. 1 and East Glebe on Sept. 4. The ribbon cutting for the new store was held at 6:00 pm on Sept. 3.
State Senator Adam Ebbin and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille looked on as Giant grocery store manager Norman Richards and his staff to cut the ribbon opening the new Potomac Yards store. During the ceremony, Giant Grocery presented a check to the USO for $5000.00.
As part of the opening celebration, Food Network chef Robert Irvine celebrated his new partnership with Giant Foods by premiering his new line of healthy foods. Chef Irvine spent over two hours on Friday morning signing his newest book, Fit Fuel: A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well and Living Your Best Life. You’ll find the book available for sale for $25 at the store. All of the proceeds go to the Robert Irvine Foundation that supports organizations such as Wounded Warriors and the USO. I had the opportunity to chat with Chef Irvine about his food line and partnership with Giant.
He said he “brought out this line of foods to provide healthier food options for families.” He is a strong believer in bringing “kids and families together over food in the kitchen.” He “wants people to get excited about food” and “get back to old school, healthy eating.” When asked why he teamed with Giant, Chef Irvine says “it was a perfect match after seeing how Giant was involved in supporting the USO.” This store is carrying Chef Irvine’s pizza, crab cakes, and cheese cake in the frozen food section. You will also find three varieties of flavored grapeseed oil – lemon, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. They are tasty finishing oils for your food.
The new store is big, bright, and beautiful and is LEED certified. At 57,000 square feet, it is about three times the size of the old store. One of the more notable features is the shelf height which makes it easier to reach products while also creating a more roomy sense of space. You’ll find a lot of the Monroe store crew here to help you find whatever you may need. Unlike other Giant stores in the area, this one features a smoothie bar and juice bar. I tried the pina colada smoothie (more than once) at the smoothie bar and the green juice at the juice bar. Both were really good. There is a pharmacy, Starbucks, and a comprehensive organic foods section. Look for a large selection in the Health and Beauty sections of the store. The pharmacy has a low counter to allow you to interact with the Pharmacist. The Deli section provides both hot food and salad bars. There is also a wide variety of pre-prepared foods available that you might not find at other Giant stores. There’s even a fresh made pizza station.